Visual Studio Code brings iOS web debugging on Windows or Mac online

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft’s pitch of a world overrun by Universal Windows Platform developed apps has to come to full fruition. The company has done an admirable job in building the foundation of a single-core operating system that would indeed foster a truly universal app experience, but it would seem that most developers remain hesitant at best or indifferent at worst regarding Microsoft’s UWP proposition.

Fortunately, Microsoft is attempting to dissuade doubtful developers through a multi-pronged strategy that includes tempting app developers from platforms beyond Windows. Not only is Microsoft hoping that iOS and Android developers eventually seek the multifaceted development environment of Windows, but that they will come to depend on its simplified workflow.

To further encourage developers from iOS environments, Microsoft is announcing iOS Web Debugging for VS Code available on Windows and Mac.

Our new iOS Web Debugger works quite similar to our Chrome debugger which we introduced back in February. Under the hood it’s the same debugger running inside VS Code, which is powered by our open source vscode-chrome-debug-core library. To make the connection from our debugging library to the iOS device, we are leveraging two open source projects, ios-WebKit-debug-proxy and ios-webkit-debug-proxy-win32; that enables communication with the iOS devices over USB through the WebKit Remote Debugging Protocol. The protocol is compatible with the Chrome Debugging Protocol for the script debugging APIs, and this means our debugger works without additional mapping logic.”

iOS debugging VS
iOS debugging VS

Alongside the new debugging Protocol, developers can also look forward to additional feature support coming with iOS Web Debugging that includes, setting breakpoints, stepping, stack traces, debugging eval scripts, virtual port forwarding via HTTP and more. Developers will also find that iOS Web Debugging will help them increase their user base by supporting development for expanded hardware that includes development for watches and consoles.

For those interested, visit the GitHub repository here, or follow its development on Twitter. Let us know in the comments what you think of Microsoft’s cross-platform development tools.